Governor Romney served as an unpaid minister in his church for approximately 10 years. MSNBC reported on rare comments Romney made yesterday about those years of service.
[...] in response to a question about whether or not Romney is out of touch with average voters, Romney returned to the issue of his faith, telling his audience that his time as a local LDS ward leader and then stake-president in Massachusetts allowed him to work hands-on with regular folks who needed help:
I’ve had an unusual experience. This gentleman wanted to talk about the doctrines of my religion. I’ll talk about the practices of my faith. I had the occasion in my church to be asked to be the pastor, if you will, of a congregation,” Romney said. “I’ve served in that kind of role for about 10 years. And that gave me the occasion to work with people on a very personal basis that were dealing with unemployment, with marital difficulties, with health difficulties of their own and with their kids.”
Most Americans, by the way, are carrying a burden of some kind. We don’t see it, we see someone on the street, they smile and say ‘Hello,’ but behind them they are carrying a bag of rocks. It may be their own health difficulties. It may be concern about a job, it may be inability to pay for the home or the college they were hoping to pay for for a child. But people have burdens in this country, and when you get a chance to know people on a very personal basis, whether you’re serving as a pastor or as a counselor or in other kinds of roles, you understand that every kind of person you see is facing some challenges. And one of the reasons I’m running for president of the United States is I want to help people, I want to lighten those burdens.
Romney also used the experience of his wife, Ann, who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, to further make a connection with his audience.
“My good wife, I mean, you see her, she’s beautiful, she’s energetic, articulate, but you know, she has MS, and she also had to fight breast cancer. And I watched her as a person with great strength and capacity,” Romney said. “You don’t always see the things that are happening in people’s lives, and yet, she wants to help people, and to reach out to those that are facing some difficulty.”
Hat Tip to Ryan Hawkins and Mitchell Lundquist for this article.